Design criteria for retrofit windows and new walls

Karen Bayne, Timothy Allan, Kylie Baker.

This report outlines a suggested approach for establishing design criteria by which various systems can be assessed, to determine key performance parameters for solutions to improve the system
towards better meeting the High Standard of Sustainability. Product development techniques such as Quality Function Deployment and Product System Assessment were used to identify and prioritise key technical requirements for exterior walls for new homes and windows for existing homes, and to verify suitability of the methodology developed.

Key criteria for the development of windows of existing homes are ability to regulate the indoor environment, installation ease and environmental aspects. For wall systems durability, the provision in the system for easy of upgrade and installation and key performance indicators are shelter, security, longevity and thermal insulation are important design criteria. Key performance requirements for a new wall system also include optimising thermal mass, glazing and insulation elements and designing in adaptability using prefinished componentry and easy connections.

While the goal of the systems strategy initially was to develop novel solutions, the results, especially for windows for existing homes, showed that the development of a new solution may not always be essential, and particularly in the case of window systems and wall systems, it was clear that their high ranking was influenced in many respects by ‘uptake’ related issues, i.e., not necessarily technological issues.